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Bertrand Piccard

Bertrand Piccard

Best known for:

“The adventure of the 21st century consists in using human creativity and the pioneering spirit to develop the quality of life to which present and future generations are entitled.”


With his dual identity as a medical doctor and explorer, Bertrand Piccard has become an influential voice heard among the most distinguished institutions across the globe as a forward-thinking leader in progress and sustainability. He is independent, not affiliated to a particular party or lobbying group, and as such is a trusted adviser and influencer for the development of new societal solutions, and a very sought-after speaker for private and public audiences.


It is in Bertrand’s DNA to go beyond the obvious and achieve the impossible, as he did with his two round-the-world flights, recently in a solar-powered airplane, and before that non-stop in a balloon. The ocean depths and the stratosphere attracted his father and grandfather; the challenges of our time fascinate him. Rather than new territories, he wants to discover new ways of doing and thinking, in particular in the field of clean technologies for a better quality of life.

Bertrand is the initiator and visionary behind Solar Impulse, the very first airplane capable of flying perpetually without fuel. Taking turns at the controls with André Borschberg for the first flight around the world on solar power, his ambition is to leverage pioneering spirit for a useful contribution to the cause of renewable energies. This is why he spent the last 15 years bringing together the major partners providing technologies and funds for this adventure. Together with his wife Michèle, he conceived the Solar Impulse project as a now widely recognized platform to raise public awareness and encourage political actions in favour of clean technologies and energy efficiency, the next stage of which includes the establishment to this end of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions under the aegis of the Solar Impulse Foundation

The inspiration he received from other explorers and pioneers during his childhood gave him the desire to inspire young generations in return.


  • Pioneer of hand gliding and ultralight flying in Europe – European Hang-Glider Aerobatics Champion, 1985
  • Winner of the first transatlantic balloon race - Chrysler Challenge, 1992
  • Initiator of the Breitling Orbiter project and captain of the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight – 8 FAI world records for the longest unrefuelled flight in distance and duration in the history of aviation
  • Initiator and chairman of Solar Impulse – first to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a solar, electric and zero-emission airplane, 2016 – pilot of the first round-the-world solar flight, alternating with André Borschberg (2 FAI world records for distance with a solar airplane)


  • Champion of the Earth, 2012
  • Energizer of the Year, 2014
  • United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Environmental Program (UNEP), 2015
  • United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Population Fund (UNFPA), from 1999 to 2011
  • Founder and President of the Winds of Hope Foundation
  • Founder and President of the NoNoma Federation
  • Specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy for adults and children
  • Lecturer and supervisor for the Swiss Medical Hypnosis Society
  • Professor at the Nice Faculty of Medicine
  • Honoris Causa Doctor for Science, Technology and Letters in Cranfield, Liège, Fribourg, Geneva and Mons Universities


  • Olympic Order (IOC)
  • Légion d’Honneur ( France)
  • Order of the Alawites (Morocco)
  • Order of Leopold (Belgique)
  • Order of Saint-Charles (Monaco)
  • Médaille de l’Aéronautique, (France)
  • Médaille d’Or de la Jeunesse et des Sports (France)
  • Gold Medal of the Federation Aéronautique Internationale (FAI)
  • Hubbard Medal of the National Geographic Society
  • Gold Medal of the Explorers Club
  • Grand Prix de l’Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques


  • “Objectif Soleil” with André Borschberg – 2017 –  currently in French
  • “Around the World in 20 Days” with Brian Jones – 1999 – best seller available in several languages
  • “A Trace in the Sky”– 2010 – French version, Edition Favre 2005; English version: White Star
  • “Changer d’Altitude” – 2014 – a best-seller